CNNMoney, February 22, 2012

With a record number of Americans going without health insurance, alternative currencies have become one of the few ways the uninsured can afford much-needed health care. Launched in 2009, one alternative currency has become increasingly popular as the U.S. dollar loses its buying power and the struggling economy takes a toll on consumers' finances, said Local Trade Partners founder Rich Creyer. Since early last year, the number of members using the currency grew from 300 to 548. And about 60 of them are health and wellness providers—including hospitals, chiropractors, dentists, pharmacies, eye doctors and even plastic surgeons.

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